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My kids threw something in the house and broke a window. Only the inner pane of the double-pane window is broken.

My questions are:
What needs to be replaced?
Can I replace just the glass that's broken?
Should I replace both sides of the double-panned glass?
Or do I have to replace the entire window.

It's double-hung window.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You have to replace both. The two panes come glued together as a unit. Contact a local glass company and buy just the glass if you think you can take apart the frame and put it in yourself.

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If you can't take apart the frame and replace just the glass unit, you can probably replace a single sash. –  Greg Dec 1 '10 at 21:48
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I'd also suggest contacting your window manufacturer. Many times window manufacturers (especially in the last few years) include a lifetime no-break warranty on the glass, meaning that if for any reason the glass breaks, they'll come replace the entire window at no cost to you.

Even if the windows were installed before you bought the house, those warranties are typically transferred to the new owner.

Something possibly worth checking in to.

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If you mean it's a double glazed sealed unit then you'll have to replace the whole thing.

You should just be able to replace the glazing unit.

The unit is sealed to keep a partial vacuum between the panes which helps with both sound and heat insulation.

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I think you would be best off calling the window manufacturer's service department. Double paned windows are usually made as a unit: two pieces of glass with a spacer between to separate them and seal the opening. The space is often a vacuum, or filled with an inert gas like Argon. It might be possible to replace the broken pane, but you would be losing all the other benefits of a double-paned window: insulation, soundproofing and blocking heat and UV from sunlight.

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